Longhorns dominate UT-Arlington
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas coach Jody Conradt wanted to use her last stretch of non-conference games to rest her starters and get her reserves some valuable playing time.
She got what she wanted in a 69-24 win over Texas-Arlington on Tuesday night in which the fourth-ranked Longhorns used a stellar defensive effort to hold the Lady Mavs to 11 points in the second half.
The suffocating defense helped the Longhorns extend the nation's longest home winning streak to 40 games.
The score could have been much worse but Conradt sat her starters for much of the game after it quickly turned into a rout. The Longhorns outrebounded Texas-Arlington 59-31, forced 24 turnovers and held the Lady Mavs to 17 percent shooting overall.
"We sputtered around but we had a lot of people on the floor who don't get a lot of playing time," Conradt said. "And we had a point guard crisis so it's hard to be a well-oiled machine."
Guards Nina Norman and Jamie Carey missed the second half entirely. Conradt said Norman banged up a knee in the first and Carey spent the second half in the locker room because of a stomach virus.
Tiffany Jackson scored 12 points to lead Texas (6-2), which plays two more non-conference games before starting Big 12 play Jan. 5 at home against Kansas.
Terra Wallace scored 10 to lead Texas-Arlington (4-5).
Heather Schreiber hit a 3-pointer, Carey hit two more and the Longhorns' bigger lineup dominated in building a 28-4 lead with nearly eight minutes left in the first half.
When Daria Mieloszynska hit a 30-footer as the buzzer sounded, the Longhorns led 39-13 at the break.
Texas-Arlington might have simply been road weary. The Lady Mavs play 12 of their first 13 games away from home because the school frequently lends its home arena for other events such as ballet and concerts, said head coach Donna Capps.
"It's been a long season on the road. It's always that way in December," Capps said. "They're bigger than us and stronger than us. We played intimidated."
The Lady Mavs hit just 5-of-25 shots in the first half and struggled to get the ball close to the basket or find open looks, often running the shot clock down to the final seconds.
The second half was more of the same. Only the mix-and-match lineup Conradt put on the floor kept it from being much worse.
Jackson played 26 minutes in the game and was the only Longhorn on the floor for more than 18.
"I think it's really good to get other players some experience to get them able to play the kind of pace we like," Jackson said.
Texas nearly matched the school record for fewest points allowed in a half -- nine, last accomplished in a win over Texas State last season. Texas turned the Lady Mavs' 24 turnovers into 25 points.
"We've been working a lot on defense," Schreiber said. "We were determined to show coach we've improved."
But our defense set the tone and set the tone early. I was really happy with our defense. We came out very very strong and set the tone early in this game. I've said that these games leading up to the Big 12 Conference play that I wanted to make sure that we got lots of different people on the floor, and we accomplished that tonight. Heather (Schreiber), Jamie (Carey) and Tiffany (Jackson) set the tone early. I thought Daria (Mieloszynska) did some positive things tonight, especially in the first half.
It's hard to judge much from the second half. I will cut our team some slack, because it is hard to play without your point guards, and we were down to one point guard (Tamra Cobbins) in the second half with Jamie sitting out the half ill and Nina getting her bruised knee hit."
On what to expect when the Longhorns meet Sam Houston (Dec. 28th) in their next game...
Senior F Heather Schreiber
We also knew that UT-Arlington has played some good teams like Villanova and Florida State, and just lost by two points to Florida State. We knew they would be really aggressive on defense and would play hard and not take plays off. And, they played hard on "D" all game long. They are very quick to the ball. But we've improved since North Texas since they (North Texas) tried to do the same to us - play tough "D" and get to the ball quick. We've improved on handling pressure and we showed that tonight."
Sophomore F Tiffany Jackson